From the Economist's 'free exchange' blog:
LARRY KUDLOW might know less about markets than any other prominent business television persona out there. It's always amusing to watch an ostensibly serious figure argue in front of millions of people that markets fell on one day because a certain candidate won a primary battle or rose on another day because a new poll showed a jump in Republican numbers. Not helpful for viewers seeking investment advice, mind you, but plenty amusing.
But this takes the cake. Near the end of a long column detailing the media's recent obsession with Republican vice-presidential nominee Sarah Palin, Mr Kudlow writes:
Even the financial pages are looking better. Oil is about to drop under $100 a barrel. Gold is plunging. And the greenback continues to rally in true King Dollar fashion. Is there a Sarah Palin effect here, too?
Under any circumstances, the argument that a vice-presidential choice (a pretty inconsequential position for veeps not named Dick Cheney) had rejuvenated American markets would be ludicrous. But Mr Kudlow is writing this about an individual whose brief stint as nominee has occurred during a fortnight of disastrous economic news. American markets are down something like 6% since Mr McCain announced his choice at the end of August. The federal government has just bailed out two massive mortgage agencies, and two other financial firms—Lehman Brothers and Washington Mutual—are on the brink of collapse, their shares having tumbled to practically nothing in a matter of days. And of course, drops in commodities are widely seen as a sign of economic pessimism. The prospect of subtrend growth for months or years is expected to reduce demand for such resources.
Come on, Mr Kudlow. If you're going to try and con us, at least but some effort into it.